Disorders of Desire: Sexuality and Gender in Modern American Sexology Revised and Expanded Edition
Delevante, Michelle L., Contemporary Sexuality
Disorders of Desire: Sexuality and Gender in Modern American Sexology Revised and Expanded Edition. By Janice M. Irvine. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005. $23.95.
Disorders of Desire provides a significant sociological and historical perspective of the field of sexology. Janice M. Irvine skillfully takes us on a thought-provoking journey into the world of sexology, beginning with Alfred C. Kinsey's significant efforts and contributions to the controversial topics of sex addiction and new advances in sexual psychopharmacology. Irvine invites us into a sexological time machine to examine the development of sexuality and gender, and entices us to break out our sociological microscopes.
Initially, you cannot help but recall Helen Singer Kaplan's Disorders of Sexual Desire given the title's striking resemblance. While Kaplan's contributions focused on case studies of dysfunction at a dyadic level, Irvine examines desire from a sociological, historical macro-perspective.
Irvine's examination favors the tools and perspectives of French philosopher Michel Foucault. Her Foucaldian analysis is employed in her explanation of gender and sexuality. The book content is presented in a seemingly unbiased, chronological, and concise order. The contributions to the field of sexology are explored in great detail looking at sexual politics, sexual science, and the emergence of the sex therapy profession. We begin in the Kinsey era, move towards Masters and Johnson sensate-focused exercises, then travel into the world of Helen Singer Kaplan. …